Tuesday, March 1, 2011
A report of possible animal cruelty resulted in the seizure of 29 cats living in crates on Tuesday. Marion County Animal Services received a call about the potential cruelty from a Marion County code enforcement officer responding to a junk and litter complaint at that same location.
When animal control officers responded to the report, they found 29 cats in crates under a tarp-covered carport and behind 56-year-old Ester Morris’ Citra-area home. The cats lived in stacked crates of varying sizes that were filled with feces-and-urine-soaked newspaper and infested with cockroaches. Some of the crates were filled with as much as eight inches and 45 pounds of newspaper, dirt, dust, food and waste, leaving nearly no room for the cats to move around.
Due to the exigent circumstances of the cats’ severe illnesses and living conditions, animal control officers rescued the cats immediately. Officers also removed three dogs and two cats from inside Morris’ home. Most of the rescued cats had severe upper respiratory infections and eye injuries due to sickness. Several were dehydrated and underweight, with one adult cat weighing in at an emaciated three pounds. Animal Services euthanized nine of the cats after arrival and assessment at the Animal Center due to suffering and poor health..." More